The area (left) from which trees will be removed =- and (right) the area from which they've already been stripped

The area (left) from which trees will be removed =- and (right) the area from which they’ve already been stripped

Penarth Marina residents have been sharing their  concerns about next week’s  impending clearance of trees from the escarpment above Penarth Marina with Penarth Civic Society at a meeting last night at Foxy’s Restaurant on Victoria Road .

Penarth Civic Society have been in the vanguard of protecting pavement trees in Penarth and recently confirmed an agreement with the Vale of Glamorgan Council that the society would be consulted prior to the removal of any street trees in the town.

Foxy's restaurant was the venue for last night's Peanrth Civic Society open meeting

Foxy’s restaurant was the venue for last night’s Peanrth Civic Society open meeting

Last night – in an open meeting on the need for better tree management in Penarth – concerns were expressed about the number of Victorian trees in the town which had “disappeared” and several ideas were contributed as to what the future policy should be to preserve the leafy look of the town.

The most urgent issue raised at the meeting however was the impending clearance of the Penarth Escarpment along Penarth Portway  up to the roundabout junction with Terra Nova Way . Here Vale of Glamorgan Council contractors are due to begin large-scale tree clearance, coppicing, pollarding and felling operation on Monday January 18th which is to last four weeks.

Just some of the woodland and natural habitat which would be sawn down and stripped from the face of the Penarth Escarpment

Just some of the woodland and natural habitat which would be sawn down and stripped from the face of the Penarth Escarpment

A group of residents from Penarth Marina told the meeting the destruction of the tree coverage already carried out on the escarpment in December 2014 had a “huge adverse impact upon the appearance of the neighbourhood” and had “degraded the amenity of the area”.

Neither Penarth Civic Society itself nor the Penarth Town Council had been notified about the next week’s tree-clearance operations .

Only the red area on the plan is supposed to be felled. The green areas are to be "pollarded and copiced" - but that's what the council promised last year when in fact there was wholesale felling

Only the red area on the plan is supposed to be felled. The green areas are to be “pollarded and copiced” – but that’s what the council promised in 2014 when in fact there was wholesale felling in the adjacent woodland

Residents at the Society’s open meeting queried the costs of the clearance operation and asked how these could be met at a time when the council could not afford to maintain other trees in Penarth. Members of the audience asked where the council had found the money for this operation. It was also noted that bats had disappeared from the area following the December  2014 clearance of a 100 yard stretch of the escarpment above the marina boatyard.

Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell)

Town Councillor Tracey Alexander (Labour, Cornerswell ) who is Vice chairman of the Penarth Civic Society told the meeting she would contact the Vale Council’s Operational Manager David Knevett to be briefed on the operation and would get back to residents with information  .

She would also be endeavouring to speak to the Vale Council’s Steve Sloman who would be supervising next week’s clearance operation.

Penarth Civic Society officials may be present on site as the operation proceeds.

Cllr Alexander (who is not a member of the Vale of Glamorgan Council) has confirmed that the Vale Council had received reports from professional consultants on the condition of the Marina Escarpment .


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  1. Alan says:

    I can’t get over the way the Vale just goes round doing exactly as it pleases. There seems to be no answerability whatsoever.

  2. David Moorcraft says:

    Penarth Town Council has not been notified by the Vale Council of the large scale Tree-coppicing and pruning about to take place on the Penarth Dock escarpment.
    Probably not obligatory , but, a bit discourteous ?

  3. Seth says:

    I wonder if the Vale doesn’t “consult” because it thinks Penarth is full of (self-styled) “sophisticates” who believe it infra dig to “protest” and therefore wouldn’t bother doing anything anyway, so many of them being obsessed with themselves, their 4x4s, hot-housing their children to become the next prime minister, strutting round as though they own the place etc etc.. In that respect, I do have some sympathy with the Vale.

  4. Seems funny that we are supposed to be protecting the environment yet we are destroying it.

    Maybe one of the Councillors lives in one of those luxury houses and the trees are spoiling their view!!!…

  5. Sue@56 says:

    Maybe the area should have been maintained regularly over the years. All goes back to the Vale not having a “tree policy” hence the radical pollarding and cutting down of many of our town trees with no replacement trees in sight.

  6. LeighA says:

    For everyone’s information, there has been a number of woodland management reports covering the escarpment over the past 10 years all of which have recommended effective management in the form of coppicing, pollarding and removal of dangerous trees. All of these reports have, until now, been ignored. If the work had been carried out when originally recommended, well before Penarth Heights was built, we would now have a well managed, safe and attractive amenity. The latest report by Mott MacDonald, one of the worlds largest consulting and environmental engineers, raises safety issues that cannot continue to be ignored. The sooner the work is completed the sooner the escarpment will regrow and create an improved environment for all concerned, including the birds and wildlife that live on the escarpment.

    • George Smith says:

      I think leighA is probably right. I cannot see the council spending money unless they have to. My guess is this is a health & safety issue and they have left it so long without doing something that it is now dangerous and they have to spend.

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